A spectacular board from Round 1


In the ZIMMERMANN v. PUILLET match, this was board 3:

In the Open Room, Zimmermann showed a raise to game in hearts by bidding 3NT but Dikhnova was not interested in more than that. On the lead of the queen of clubs, she was able to win her ace, take a losing trump finesse and still come to 12 tricks by means of a finesse of the jack of clubs in the end.
Zimmermann +480.

Much more interesting things happened in the Closed Room:

Over one hearts, North started off with a general GF bid of two clubs. Three Clubs was natural and three hearts then set trumps. Three spades was a cue bid and 3NT showed a spade control. This enabled South to launch RKC. When he heard 4 keycards, he could bid the slam with some confidence.
West at this table did not make the helpful queen of clubs lead we saw in the Open Room selecting a diamond instead. Declarer won, played off three round of spades to get rid of his losing diamond, ruffed himself back to hand with dummy’s last diamond and advanced the queen of hearts.
When West did not cover this, declarer, after some thinking, put up dummy’s ace. When the king appeared, he claimed his contract as he would lose no more than the now inevitable club loser.
PUILLET +980 and 11 IMPs to them.

Now let’s consider the a priori chances to make six hearts. Finessing the king of hearts gives you a straightforward 50% (but with the extra chance that having eliminated the pointed suits first, losing to a singleton king still leaves you with a theoretical hope) cashing the ace of hearts is the winning line if the king comes down but also if the player holding the doubleton king has at least one club honour. You would have to guess the club position correctly in that case so it is impossible to produce a mathematically correct percentage for this line of play. Still, there seems to be as much in this line as there is in the straightforward finesse, even more so if you are looking for a spectacular play.